Gaining access is a critical part of doing research, not only because one must "get in" in order to gain information, but also because the quality of access affects what information is available to the researcher. Despite its importance, the literature on qualitative methods has not yet provided an extensive treatment of this issue. Gaining Access fills the void by offering useful, prescriptive advice on how to successfully enter different field settings for interviewing and observation. The detailed methodological guidelines presented by the authors are reinforced in a set of case studies by expert researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds on a wide variety of formal and informal settings, from working with ethnic minorities in Bosnia to studying prisons, sex workers, welfare offices, and the clergy. This book will provide useful ideas to experienced qualitative researchers as well as invaluable advice to novices conducting their first study.
Martha S. Feldman is associate dean of the Ford School of Public Policy and professor of political science and public policy. Jeannine Bell teaches at the Indiana University Law School. Michele Berger is a political scientist at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Part 1 Introduction Part 2 Part One Part 3 Chapter One: Finding Informants Part 4 Chapter Two: Human Subjects and Permission to Contact Informants Part 5 Chapter Three: Making Initial Contact Part 6 Chapter Four: Developing Rapport Part 7 Chapter Five: Exiting: Ending the Relationship Part 8 Part Two Part 9 Chapter Six: Gaining Access to Individuals Chapter 10 Maintaining Access Chapter 11 Chinese Officials as Ordinary Respondents Chapter 12 Dealing With Difficult Gatekeepers, Vulnerable Populations and 'Hooks' That Go Awry: An Access Story Chapter 13 Gaining Access: Courting Minorities in Postwar Bosnia Part 14 Chapter Seven: Gaining Access for Interviewing Chapter 15 Accessing Business, Government, and Non-Governmental Organization Actors in Mexico and Brazil Chapter 16 Rendering Unto Caesar: Access to Local Religious Leaders Chapter 17 Breaking into the Bank: The Challenge of Gaining Meaningful Access to the World Bank Chapter 18 Help From Unexpected Places: Access and Assistance From Within an Organization Part 19 Chapter Eight: Gaining Access for Interviewing and Observation Chapter 20 Going to Prison Chapter 21 How I Got Them to Talk to Me: The Importance of Persistence, Personality, and Identity Chapter 22 Accessing Multiple Human Service Organizations for Field-Based Research Part 23 Chapter Nine: Gaining Access for Extended Observation Chapter 24 Studying Work Groups in Indian, China, and Hungary Chapter 25 Accessing Architects in the Auto Industry Chapter 26 Access to Rivera: Entering and Exiting an Urban High School Chapter 27 Crossing that Yellow Line: Obtaining Access to the Police Departments Part 28 Chapter Ten: Gaining Access for Participation Chapter 29 Perseverance Furthers Chapter 30 Inside DOE Chapter 31 Access as Relating: On the Relationship Aspects of Different Types of Access Chapter 32 Access and Participation in a Government Agency Part 33 Index Part 34 About the Authors